“The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it”
Krishna. If you are a devout person in India, irrespective of your religion, you are bound to have heard this name. Such is the nature of ‘Krishna’, meaning ‘The all attractive one’. From centuries, people are writing about Him, from the Bhagwat gita written in 300 B.C. to The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi written in 2012. Krishna is a timeless, formless, supreme being who helped get rid of evil whenever the demons reached their peak. Sounds like a good bed-time fairy tale told by your grandmother, doesn’t it? This is because what Krishna did, for that matter who He was, is well beyond the grasp of any mortal human. Krishna, in totality, may be complex to understand but He can be attained in a lot simpler of ways. He can be attained by everyone in their own way – through love or hate, as a friend or foe. Why am I talking about Krishna? He is the embodiment of intellectual and spiritual glory. No other single idea has influenced the course of Hindu religion, philosophy, art and literature. Yogis considered Him the absolute truth, Gopis considered Him the highest object of love, warriors considered Him as a brave hero, Kansa considered Him an object of fear, Narada considered Him the epitome of devotion and Pandavas considered Him a friend. Such is the seemingly complex but simple Krishna. Everything about Him was majestic, including the city He built. Dwarka. Yes, today Dwarka will be our focus.
For understanding the real implications of this discovery, we must go back in time. Way back to the beginning of the end of Dwarka. The year was 3607 B.C. (this was the year of the Mahabharata war, which is scientifically proved in my first blog of this series). Kauravas had waged war against the Pandavas. With Krishna and His crafty tactics on their side, the outnumbered Pandavas managed to defeat Kauravas. King Dhritarashtra had to see all his sons die in front of his eyes. It was fate reminding him of the time he had killed 100 babies of a bird on a hunting expedition and the male bird had to watch all his babies getting slaughtered. Karma delivered its blow, making the justice almost poetic. However, Gandhari (wife of King Dhritarashtra) had done nothing to deserve this cruelty. In a fit of rage, Gandhari cursed Krishna: “To feel the pain I am feeling of having my sons being killed, Krishna will see the entire Yadava clan, die in front of His eyes and His kingdom will burn to the ashes. He and His brother will be left with no lineage to rule. All of Krishna’s sons will die in a massive fight that will happen in Dwarka. Krishna on the other hand will have no power to stop this war and will flee to the forest without any weapons. There in the forest, unarmed, He will be killed by a hunter and later, the entire city of Dwarka will sink into the sea. The remaining Yadavas, who survive the war will be suffering a lot because of chaos and facing all the above misery”. Krishna accepted this curse and 36 years after he moved his kingdom’s capital from Mathura to Dwarka, a war broke out between the Yadava clan and they destroyed each other. Krishna and Balarama fled to the forest and later Krishna’s foot was pierced by a hunter’s arrow who mistook it for a deer and Krishna left His mortal form. The moment Krishna left His form, the sea which had been beating against the shores of Dwarka, suddenly broke the boundary that was imposed upon it by nature. The sea rushed into the city. It coursed through the streets of the beautiful city. The sea covered everything. The mansion of Krishna sank and in a matter of minutes, it was all over. The sea had become as calm as it was before. There was no trace of the magnificent Dwarka. Dwarka was just a name, just a memory. Sounds a little farfetched? In that case, hold your breath and buckle up for a journey to the depths of the Arabian Sea.
Why is discovering Dwarka so crucial? For understanding that, let us see how Dwarka was built.
After successfully defending 18 attacks by Jarasandha on Mathura, Krishna knew that it was then time to shift His capital elsewhere if Mathura was to progress. The constant war took its toll on the city every time. Krishna along with the Yadava clan arrived on the coast of Saurashtra (western coast of the now Gujarat). He decided to build His capital there. He selected Vishwakarma, the best architect to plan this city. Vishwakarma reported that the land would not be enough, and he would need another 12 yojanas (around 100 miles) more. All this is noted in the Vishnu parva of the Harivamsa. Following are some of the original shlokas with its English translation.
कल्पितेयं मया भूमि: पश्वध्वंध देवसद्मवत् ।
नाम चासया: कृतं पुर्या: ख्यांति यदुपयास्यति ।।5।।
(Krishna said:) Look at this land selected by me. It is like heaven. I have also assigned a name for the city by which it will be famous.
इयं द्वारवती नाम पृथिव्यां निर्मिता मया ।
भविष्यवति पुरी रम्या शक्रस्येवामरावती ।।6।।
This city made by me on the earth, named Dvaravati (city with gates) will be marvelous like the city, amaravati of shakra (indra).
पुर्या: क्षिप्रं निवेशार्थं चिन्तमयामास माधव: ।
तस्य दैवोत्थता बुद्धिर्विमला क्षिप्रकारिणी ।।19।।
Madhava (Krishna) thought about quick construction of the city. Then a divine idea leading to quick construction occurred to Him.
पुर्या: प्रियकारी सा वै यदूनामभिवर्द्धिनी ।
शिल्पिमुख्यस्तु देवानां प्रजापतिसुत: प्रभु: ।।20।।
विश्विकर्मा स्वमत्या वै पुरीं संस्थापयिष्यति ।
The city, likely to fulfill all the yadava’s wishes and leading to their progress, shall be made by, the best architect of devas, the lord, son of prajaapati, vishvakarma, from of his mind.
मनसा समनुध्या य तस्याागमनकारणात् ।
त्रिदशाभिमुख: कृष्णोर विविक्ते् समपद्यत ।।21।।
For him (vishvakarma) to come, contemplating in his mind, Krishna stood alone facing the devas.
तस्मिन्नेमव तत: काले शिल्पा्चार्यो महामति: ।
विश्वनकर्मा सुरश्रेष्ठ : कृष्णास्यम प्रमुखे स्थित: ।।22।।
At that moment itself, the preceptor of architects, Visvakarma, the best among devas, having great intellect, stood before Krishna.
सर्वमेतत् करिष्यामि यत त्वयाभिहितं प्रभो ।
पुरी त्वियं जनस्यास्य न पर्याप्ता भविष्यति ।।32।।
(Vishvakarma said:) O lord! I will do all this as You wish. This area of city will be insufficient for your people.
समुद्र दश च द्वे च योजनानि जलाशये ।
प्रतिसंह्रियतामात्मा यद्यस्ति मयि मान्यता ।।36।।
(Krishna said:) O Ocean! Please leave (a place of) ten and two (twelve) yojanas (one yojana= 9 miles) in yourself if you respect me.
तत: कृष्णास्य वचनं श्रुत्वान नदनदीपति: ।
स मारुतेन योगेन उत्ससर्ज जलाशयम् ।।38।।
Hearing the words of Krishna, the lord of rivers, combined with the help of wind, left the place (occupied by) the water body.
तत: सा निर्मिता कान्ता पुरी द्वारावती तदा ।
मानसेन प्रयत्ने न वैष्णावी विश्वरकर्मणा ।।44।।
Then the beautiful city, the city of gates (Dvaravati) of Vishnu was marvelously made by Vishvakarma by his mental efforts.
And thus, Dwarka was created. It had special importance in Krishna’s kingdom. The land was full of flowering and fruit bearing trees. Poet Magha describes it as ‘Yellow glitter of the Golden fort of the city in the sea throwing yellow light all round looked as if the flames of fire had come out from under the sea’. Such was the grandeur of Dwarka.
A city with such wealth, technological advancements in the era of 3000 B.C.E is nothing short of a wonder. After Dwarka was submerged, all the information which might point to the technological advancements and information about Indian discoveries drowned with it. That is why exploring, discovering and studying the remains of Dwarka which have now been found underwater about 10 miles from the present coast of Gujarat is important. This can give us so much information and give insights towards the architecture from Krishna’s era itself. This is one of the biggest ancient discoveries that has been identified. It sure is the most compelling discovery, if not the biggest. Why hasn’t the re-discovery of Dwarka given less attention than the discovery of Troy by Heinrich Schliemann?
The first clear historical records dated 574 A.D. occurs in the Palitana states of Samanta Simhaditya. This inscription refers to Dwarka as capital of western coast of Saurashtra, and more importantly states that Sri Krishna lived there. One of the four Sankaracharya pithas is established there giving validation to the land sanctity claims. Hence, marine explorations were planned by the Archaeological Survey of India with the help of History and Archaeology Department of the MS University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India. A pioneer in this field is Dr. S. R. Rao formerly of the ASI and with the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa, India now. He has done considerable research and excavation work in Bet Dwarka region and has found remains of the original Dwarka under the sea. He and his team of divers found remains of the entire submerged city of Dwarka with rubble and masonry structures, several shell and pottery items and seals. Thermoluminescence dating of the pottery from the excavation is around 5540 years old. Identical pottery is also found in Bet Dwarka region. These also corroborate with Dr. Narhari Achar’s estimation of the Mahabharata war year. The research vessel Vedhavati arrived on 31st Dec. 1989 at Dwarka duly equipped with diving gear, echosounder, heavy compressor and airlift etc. For the next 3 days, Mr. Srinivas Bandodkar and his team of divers under supervision of Dr. Rao searched for and cleared the submerged structures of the ancient city exposed in earlier expeditions. New areas were explored, and the thick growth of vegetation removed. A stone structure, an overburden and a moon stone of a temple and two boundary walls were laid bare. Also, a bowl and some new pottery was discovered and sent for dating. Their dates matched the dates of the earlier pottery found. The sea became choppy and the currents strong from the 15th to 21st of the month of January. Boats started rolling. The crew of a dingy were thrown over board but no one was injured. Underwater exploration was suspended for 3 days and limited research was carried out. Taking advantage of the lowest low tide on 21st Jan, the Samudranarayan temple that was found submerged was surveyed and moon stone of a smaller temple was uncovered at a short distance of 30m seaward from there. Few iron rings fixed in bench at foot of the temple allowed ferries to run to and from through the channels. The harivamsa talks about Krishna asking for and getting land from the sea god. Taking land from a waterbody for construction. Sound familiar? This is the technique used in many places today from Dubai to Hawaii. It is called ‘Land Reclamation’. During excavations, specially placed boulders were observed. During land reclamation today, the same technique is used. Boulders are placed in strategic positions so that the land becomes available for construction.
The general layout described in the texts concurs with the discoveries of MAU. The total area is around 100 miles which roughly corroborates the 12 yojana space that Krishna had asked for to the sea god. Gateways to the city were laid bare. The prasada referred to in the epic must be the high fort walls of Dwarka. The epic says that flags were flying in the city of Dwarka. This was confirmed by the stone bases of flagposts found by the divers from Vedhavati. Every major antiquity or archaeological object found corroborates the statements of the Harivamsa. One of the interesting items found was a seal bearing the motif of a 3 headed animal representing a bull, an unicorn and a goat. Harivamsa says that every citizen had to carry the mudra as mark of identification of citizenship. The dating process yielded the date in the same era as that of the pottery. Dr. Rao said, “The discovery of legendary city of Dwarka which has been founded by Sri Krishna, is an important landmark in the history of India. It has set to rest the doubts expressed by historians about the very existence of Dwarka. It has greatly narrowed the gap in Indian history by establishing continuity of the written material”. The Mahabharata and Harivamsa describe the Dwarka in detail – from building it to the submergence. The description matches whatever the divers have found. Many people discredit this by saying archaeology and literature should not be correlated for proof. But then we would never have the much-celebrated story of Ancient Greece.
However, after these discoveries, the underwater excavations and research mysteriously stopped. There was a stay on all activities by the Government. Mr. Amish Shah of the ‘Ancient Explorations’ who lives in USA came to India to find out the reason behind this. He did a lot of interviews, tried to reach the original members of the ASI dive team, held meetings with the HOD of the MS University. No one could give a straight answer and almost all the people of the original team did not reply. The HOD of the University confirmed off camera that there was political pressure on them to discontinue the research and excavation. He did not provide details but Dr. Nauriyal and Dr. Krishnan of the ASI confirmed that manpower and funds were not a problem, but they had run into some problems. Dr. Richard Thompson has said publicly that he thinks the Western countries are building up pressure on the Govt. of India to discontinue the research as they were afraid that people may find technologically and archaeologically advanced sites which would discredit them of various ideas and innovations. Such is the state of Indian politics that even the then ruling party did not do anything and stopped the investigation. It has not been resumed since. There was also a demand of putting tubes underwater and converting it to an underwater museum for viewing the lost city. It is collecting dust in some government office. The literature promises many amazing things in Dwarka and most of what has been excavated provides authenticity to those texts. But the excavation has stopped. Let’s hope it gets started again now and then we uncover many other things and let India shine on the world in its true glory. The truth is a beautiful and a terrible thing. It should be treated with great caution. But the truth always comes out!
There has also been a lot of chatter about Krishna. Westerners believed that Krishna was our adaptation of Jesus. In 1762, Italian scholar P. Giorgi wrote, “Krishna is a corruption of the name of our savior, the deeds correspond wonderfully with the name though they may have been impiously and cunningly polluted by the most wicked imposters”. Albrecht Weber pointed out that Vedic concept of re-incarnation was borrowed from the idea that Jesus is the son of God. Dr. F. Lorinser translated Gita and instead of admiring it, compared it to the Holy Bible and concluded that it was inspired from the Bible. However, in the book ‘Indica’ which Megasthenes wrote 300 years before Christ, Krishna was mentioned as ‘Heracles’. Grammarian Patanjali wrote about Kansa’s slaying by Krishna in 2nd century B.C.E. Krishna was mentioned in Chanakya’s Arthashastra several times. Panini in 5th century B.C. talked about Vishnu worship. From Annie Wood Beasant’s ‘Discourses on Hindu avatars’ to Sister Nivedita- Margaret Noble’s ‘Grand personality that towers over Kurukshetra’, Westerners have also written many books on Krishna. Heliodorus who came to India as an ambassador erected a ‘Garuda Stambha’ or a pillar in honor of Krishna. He has written explicit details about Krishna in his memoirs and calls himself ‘a great Krishna devotee’. Every year many western bhakts join the ISKCON mission in search of Krishna. Many have moved to India for that. If we take everything into perspective, it can surely be concluded that Krishna is nowhere based on Jesus but an independent identity and surely pre-dates Jesus.
On the other hand, the Westerners did adopt something from Hindu literature. The fabled city of Atlantis was submerged under the sea and then found later. Plato wrote that Atlantis lies beyond the pillars of Hercules. Plato was Greek and in Greek literature, Megasthenes had already documented Krishna as ‘Heracles’. Hercules was derived from Heracles. So, what are the pillars of Krishna? The Dwarkadheesh temple which lies in today’s Dwarka, has 60 pillars and the idol of Krishna situated beyond it. And the original submerged Dwarka lies in that direction about 10 miles seaward. There is no other human settlement in that direction. So, when Plato talked about Atlantis lying beyond the pillars of Hercules, wasn’t he just talking about Dwarka lying beyond the pillars of Dwarkadheesh temple? He also wrote that a confederation of kings ruled in Atlantis and they had a supreme leader and that they had marvelous wealth and Atlantis was a city in gold. Sound familiar? This is the exact description of Dwarka found in Hindu literature. The confederation of kings was the Yadava clan with Krishna being their supreme leader. Also due to earthquake and flood, Atlantis was submerged and found later. When Krishna left his mortal form, there was a massive flood due to Gandhari’s curse and Dwarka was submerged. The scientific reason for the flood was an earthquake in the seabed. That’s not all, in the Bible during Genesis, there was a great flood. Noah saved everyone by taking them on to his boat, the Noah’s Ark. In Vedas, Gilgamesh, king of Uruk saves everyone by taking them onto his boat and fortifying the walls of his kingdom. The boat is described as नाओ meaning boat. When नाओ is written in English, it is written as Naoh. Rearrange that and you get Noah, who saved the people. Circumstantial? Maybe but still it fits in perfectly with everything. Besides the boat had to be gigantic to fit all the people inside. Only 1 shipyard was big enough and had the means of building such a ship in those days and that was Lothal which is near Uruk. Every piece of the puzzle fits. Everything points to something. Also, if you think ‘navigation’ is an original English word, you are mistaken. It is derived from the Sanskrit ‘navgati’ which means ‘to navigate’.
Krishna is a name of the original, unique Supreme Person, the source of all that exists. God has many names, and each describes a different aspect of His personality. Allah, Vishnu, Jehovah, and God refer to His greatness and His role as creator, maintainer of the universe, and Lord of all. Krishna is the embodiment of 3 principles: He is Aksita, meaning the indestructible. He is Achyuta, meaning the eternal one or the one who never falls, and He is Praan Samhita, meaning the very essence and flow of life. May Lord Krishna help us uncover the remaining mysteries of His beloved city! May He bless us all to always do the right things in life.
|| JAI SRI KRISHNA ||
Prof. K. Srinivas Raghavan found out major dates from Krishna’s life. They are provided just for reference.
Krishna’s birth: July 27th 3112 B.C.
Krishna reached Hastinapur: September 28th 3060 B.C.
Lunar eclipse at Pleiades: September 29th 3060B.C.
Krishna rides with Karna: October 8th 3060 B.C.
Solar eclipse: October 14th 3060 B.C.
Mahabharata war starts: November 22nd 3060 B.C.
Winter Solstice: January 13th 3066 B.C.
Bhishma expired: January 17th 3066 B.C.
Krishna left his mortal form: 3031 B.C.
I have researched many articles, videos and books to write this article. I won’t be able to write down the name of every article and every book I referred. Some of the main ones are listed below in case any one of you is interested in getting more information. No copyright infringement intended.
- Further excavations of submerged Dwarka City by Dr. S. R. Rao
- Legend of Dwarka by T. R. Gopalakrushnan
- Dwarka – The eternal city by Brinda Ramesh
- Vishnu parva in Harivamsa
- Bhagwad gita
- Chandyoga Upanishad
- The Hindu mind by Bansi Pandit
- Marine archaeology and study of past by Nanditha Krishnan
- History of the human race by Dr. Michael Cremo
- Ancient Explorers by Dr. Amish Shah
- The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi
- Plato – Ancient Greece Mythology
- Dwarka – The Atlantis of the east by Amish Shah on Youtube
- Krishna – History or myth by Dr. Manish Pandit on Youtube
- Reports by the Archaeological Survey of India